It Should Have Been a Defensive Gun Use: Texas Man Shouted ‘Die’ As He Strangled and Shook Newborn Babies


Marcus McCowan, 18. Image via Odessa PD.

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A real life horror story came to life recently in Odessa, Texas. Reports say Marcus Dewayne McCowan Jr., assaulted a slew of hospital staff before he began strangling and shaking newborn babies in a maternity ward. The young man screamed “die!” as the newborns turned blue, according to police.

Given that it happened in Texas, Mr. McCowan’s lucky he’s still alive.

Not only was McCowan not shot dead or beaten to a bloody pulp, but he continued to fight when police arrived. When they tried to take him into custody, McCowan tried to grab the cops’ guns. He survived that as well, possibly earning the title of luckiest man in Texas that day.

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Law and Crime has the story . . .

Marcus Dewayne McCowan Jr. was taken into custody on Monday and charged with a slew of felonies, including two counts of attempted first-degree capital murder, jail records reviewed by Law&Crime show.

According to a press release from the Odessa Police Department, officers at approximately 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 3 responded to multiple 911 calls about a disturbance at Odessa Regional Medical Center in the 500 block of East 6th Street. Staffers at the hospital told police that a man had “forced his way into the Nursery and began assaulting patients and staff,” the release states.

First responders reportedly arrived on the scene after a therapist was able to temporarily subdue McCowan, but upon making contact with the suspect, police said he was “aggressive towards officers, which led to a physical altercation.” During the altercation with multiple officers, McCowan allegedly “attempted to take one of their firearms from its holster” but was unsuccessful.

A local TV station obtained a police report narrating what happened.  From KMID/KPEJ:

McCowan was visiting the hospital because his girlfriend was in labor. According to one nurse, McCowan approached her at the nurse’s station and grabbed her arm and made an “unintelligible statement”. He was asked to leave the area and nurses said he then began running back and forth in the hall. The nurses called McCowan’s actions “odd and unreasonable”. 

McCowan then reportedly approached a new mom who was holding her newborn in a baby carrier while waiting to be discharged. The nurses said McCown began focusing his attention on the newborn, but briefly walked away when the new mother moved her child from his line of sight. A short time later, nurses said they heard stomping and then saw McCowan running toward them at full speed while yelling and screaming.

McCowan then charged all three nurses and tried to enter the nursery, which was locked and inaccessible to the public; McCowan reportedly pushed one nurse to the ground while trying to break into the nursery. After an unsuccessful attempt to gain access, McCowan grabbed the newborn in the carrier from its mother and took the baby into the Lactation Room. A nurse followed McCowan inside and reportedly saw him with his hands around the baby’s neck. Nurses said the infant’s face changed color from lack of oxygen before they were able to wrestle the baby away and remove him from the Lactation Room.

At that point, a respiratory therapist, who heard yelling and came to investigate, saw McCowan force his way into the nursery, this time, successfully.

The therapist ran to the nursery and saw McCowan grab a newborn and begin strangling her with both hands. According to the witness, McCowan then picked up the baby, who had since turned blue, by her neck and began to shake her.

The therapist said McCowan said “die” to the infant and made a move as if he were going to throw her to the ground. The woman caught up to McCowan at that point and tried to slowly pull him to the ground in order to keep the child from falling. The therapist stayed with McCowan and the newborn, protecting her head in the process, until help arrived. 

Speaking from my own recent experience, I found myself hyper-protective of my twin boys when they were born. They were my first kids – at age 51 for me. My wife, facing a complicated pregnancy and delivery, told me to stay with the boys as they were taken to the neonatal intensive care unit. Yes, ma’am.

Image by Boch.

I can say right now that if anyone like an out-of-control McCowan had approached and attacked any of those half-dozen nurses, taking my twin boys the 400-some yards from the operating room to the NICU, they would have likely departed this mortal coil with a lot more holes than they were born with.

For the next two weeks, I lived in that NICU room watching over them in protective daddy bear mode. I saw other fathers, often sleep-deprived, doing the same with their newborns.  They, too, looked pretty serious.

Even if one of those fathers in the gun-toting state of Texas didn’t have a gun on his hip at the hospital that evening (which, actually, is quite likely as hospitals are one of the few places an LTC holder is not allowed to carry in Texas), I’m pretty sure they probably would have gone medieval on Mr. McCowan at the sight of him strangling their newborn child.

Again, the fact that McCowan lived that night means he won life’s lottery. Hopefully he’ll use the rest of his days, both in his coming prison term if convicted and later out of prison, to add positive meaning to his existence.


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